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Alex Rodriguez apologizes to the New York Yankees

Alex Rodriguez apologizes to the New York Yankees

Posted by Juan Gavasa on February 11, 2015

Alex Rodriguez met with top New York Yankees officials on Tuesday and apologized to the team as he prepares to report to spring training following his season-long suspension for violations of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract.

A joint statement from the Yankees and Rodriguez said the 39-year-old met at Yankee Stadium with owner Hal Steinbrenner, team president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman and assistant general manager Jean Afterman.

A person familiar with the meeting, speaking on condition of anonymity because the release of additional details was not authorized, said the meeting lasted about 90 minutes.

The person said the Yankees said they accepted the apology but maintained that doesn’t mean the team has forgotten about Rodriguez’s actions over recent years. Team officials also said Rodriguez has to make up many things to many people.

New York opens spring training on Feb. 20 at Tampa, Florida, and Rodriguez is due to report with position players and start workouts on Feb. 26. Yankees officials told him he will be treated like any other player at spring training.

The Yankees also said their preference was that Rodriguez meet with media before the team opens spring training.

In addition, New York told Rodriguez the team does not feel obligated to give him any of up to $30 million potentially due for historic achievements, part of a marketing deal reached at the time of his $275 million, 10-year contract in December 2007. The marketing agreement calls for $6 million payments for up to five milestone accomplishments designated by the Yankees. Each payment is due within 15 days of designation and is in exchange for rights such as using Rodriguez’s name and image in selling licensed goods.

Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees is congratulated by teammate Alfonso Soriano #12 after Rodriguez his a grand slam in the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants during interleague play on September 20, 2013 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

At the time of the marketing agreement, those accomplishments were contemplated to be tying the home run totals of Willie Mays (660), Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762), and breaking Bonds’ major league record. Rodriguez has 654 home runs.

A failure to declare a milestone and make a payment likely would trigger a grievance on Rodriguez’s behalf by the Major League Baseball Players Association.

A three-time AL MVP who turns 40 in July, Rodriguez faces an uncertain future with the Yankees, who have said they plan to shift him from third base to designated hitter. He has not played a full season since 2007 because of leg injuries, operations on both hips and the suspension. Still, he is owed $61 million for the final three seasons of his contract.

Rodriguez’s public history with performance-enhancing drugs stretches back six years.

Following a report by Sports Illustrated, Rodriguez admitted in 2009 that he used banned PEDs while with Texas from 2001-03. At a news conference attended by manager Joe Girardi and many of his teammates under a tent behind the third-base side of the stands at spring training in February 2009, Rodriguez said “I didn’t think they were steroids” but also admitted “I knew we weren’t taking Tic Tacs.”

The Miami New Times accused of him in January 2013 of using banned substances he obtained from the Biogenesis of America clinic, and then-baseball Commissioner Bud Selig suspended Rodriguez for 211 games in August 2013 for violations of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract.

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